With the first round of the 2008 presidential debates in the book, the discussion continues on who won between Democratic nominee Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.
Here’s how the national talking heads sum it up: everyone at FOX News says McCain won hands down. It wasn’t even close. Ditto for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the like.
Other more even handed news outlets like CNN, who actually have true journalists covering the election, view it as Obama being slightly ahead, although not be much.
For me, I don’t know who won the debate because I didn’t even bother to tune in. I do know who lost and that was the American voter. Why is that you asked? It’s simple really.
The American voter, and the American population in general, lost because they only saw two candidates on the stage. It was the same old two party-system at work. They once again were successfully able to silence any other voice from taking part in the process.
Libertarian candidate Bob Barr did his best to be included in the debate as did Independent candidate Ralph Nader. Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney was also left in the cold as was Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party.
Things were no better during the recent vice-presidential debate. On stage we had career politician Joe Biden for the Democrats and Sarah Palin, who scares me more each time she speaks. These are the best choices the Democrats and Republicans could come up with this year?
The American voter would have been greatly surprised to have heard what Libertarian vice-presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root could have offered in the debate along with Biden and Palin. Like Barr, however, he was locked out of the process denying voters the chance to hear about another option on the ballot Nov. 4.
With more presidential debates on the horizon, wouldn’t it be great if Barr had the opportunity to grill Obama and McCain on their betrayal of the American taxpayer on their support of the $700 million bailout? Wouldn’t it be great to hear the Libertarian candidate ask the Democratic and Republican candidates why they continue to support the Patriot Act, who robs American citizens of the most basic of civil liberties.
The Commission on Presidential Debates, however, controlled by Democrats and Republicans will not allow it. Elected Democrats and Republicans at all levels do not want other voices to be heard. Why do you think it is so hard for third parties and independents to get on the ballot in Georgia? Our state was one of the few which Nader was unable to gain ballot access for this November. Shouldn’t Georgia voters have the right to decide who to vote for in the presidential election?
One has to question why McCain and Obama continue to work to silence candidates like Barr and Nader. When will Americans speak up and demand all candidates be given an equal voice in addressing the voters?
Where is it written that only two candidates have the right to receive free air time on all networks? Where it is written that our country has to be a two-party system? Haven’t we learned by now that a two-party system is not the best solution? When are we going to wake up and demand more?
Chris Bridges is a reporter for The Banks County News. E-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.